I have a lovely group of friends in Seattle that I call “My 4th of July Russian Girls.” The nickname for the group was born last year over the 4th of July weekend that we spent together.  I felt as though I was initiated into the group that weekend.  Thanks ladies!

We spent most of that weekend eating and drinking and hanging out.  We continue to eat and drink together.  I’m not going to go into details of our particular taste buds, but let’s just say that sharing a dish containing cilantro and onions will never happen.  Deciding where to eat can be highly challenging and usually leads to heated discussions (slightly over exaggerated).  Our safe places tend to be Pho or Thai.

The last time we got together, I attempted to push our boundaries and suggested we try something a bit more exotic.  Following a 4-way back and forth chat on gmail, we agreed on Saffron Grill -a Seattle restaurant located in Northgate offering “inventive fusion of Indian and Mediterranean cuisine.”  I have shared several meals at the restaurant before and was looking forward to coming back.  I was also very excited to introduce Indian cuisine to one my friends.

When it came to ordering, let’s say we went slightly overboard.  The menu offers plenty of traditional Indian items (curries, tandori, etc), Mediterranean items, and some American options (we couldn’t refuse an appetizer plate of garlic fries with Ranch dressing).

Let us start with tea – there was quite a selection, artistically organized by color!  I ordered a virgin Mojito, and the drink order was completed with a beer and a gorgeous Tropical Sunrise (layered drink of strawberry puree, orange juice and pineapple juice).

The appetizers began to arrive – vegetable samosas (with potatoes and peas), baba ghannoj (smoked eggplant pureed with tahini sauce – by far one of my favorite items of the evening), garlic fries with Ranch dressing (don’t judge), and a complimentary order of garlic naan (hot, fresh out of the oven, fluffy pillow of dough with garlic and ghee).

(Somehow the fries didn’t make it into the photo)

Our entrees ranged from a house salad, to a Mediterranean falaffel platter, Mediterranean Lamb kabob, and two Butter Dishes – vegetarian and lamb.  The Indian virgin of the group, bravely tasted the Indian delicacies, and to her (and my) surprise liked a few!  There’s hope πŸ™‚

How we managed to find room in our stomachs for dessert, is honestly beyond me!  But we did order a plate of mango ice cream with pistachios that was devoured in record time.

Looking forward to many future adventures with my Russian 4th of July Girls.  Ethiopian next time? πŸ™‚

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Saffron has a daily happy hour 2-7pm-one more reason to visit.